Light therapy is touted as an alternative treatment for several diseases and conditions. The difference between blue and red light therapy lies in the diseases they help treat. Blue light therapy helps treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), depression, and some skin disorders. Red light therapy is used to treat acne, accelerate wound healing, and reduce the appearance of scars.
Blue and red light therapy both administer wavelengths of light to the patient through a variety of light sources. This is done through the use of light boxes, lamps, and light-emitting wands. They work by having the patient sit in front of the lighted box for a prescribed amount of time or directing the light at a specific spot. Instruments related to administering blue and red light therapy can range in price from affordable to expensive, depending on the type and manufacturer.
The treatment of depression and other mental disorders are the most common uses of blue light. A certain type of depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), has been shown to benefit from the use of blue light therapy. The use of blue light therapy can help patients reduce the need for prescription antidepressants when used as directed.
In the case of bipolar disorder, blue light therapy also shows promise. Someone with bipolar disorder should be under the watchful eye of a physician when using a blue light therapy box, as too high a setting may result in heightened manic symptoms. It can also interfere with a person’s sleep cycle.
Blue light therapy can also offer skin care benefits. By killing bacteria, blue light therapy can help treat and prevent acne. In addition to using blue light therapy, patients are also directed to follow a proper cleansing routine.
Skin care benefits differ between blue and red light therapy. While blue light will help eliminate acne causing bacteria, red light therapy helps stimulate the production of collagen and speed the healing of wounds. Blue and red light therapy are often used at the same time to treat acne and heal the scars associated with it.
Red light therapy can also help in the treatment of other skin disorders and conditions. Rosacea and eczema are just two of the many skin conditions which may improve with the use of red light therapy. Other possible benefits of red light therapy include reducing the look of lines and wrinkles and helping firm the facial skin.